PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — AMIKids is releasing the findings of its internal investigation after a 12-year-old suffered a skull fracture, two subdural hematomas and a brain bleed at its Pinellas Park campus.
The Pinellas Park Police Department said the student was "body-slammed" by an employee after allegedly skipping the lunch line. Police said it is believed the boy lost consciousness on more than one occasion.
The boy’s mother was not notified about what happened at school, according to police. Rather, a medical evaluation days later, after his mother thought he had the flu, revealed that the boy's skull was fractured, police said.
Now, AMIKids is saying its internal investigation shows contact with the 12-year-old’s mother was made, stating:
- More than 20 calls were made to the mother’s phone from various staff at the program after the incident occurred,
- Several direct conversations occurred between staff and the boy's mother
- The boy's mother was informed that a restraint of her son had occurred
- The boy's mother spoke directly to her son and staff after the incident occurred
- Staff tried to coordinate a pick-up time and location for the boy with his mother
"To be clear, it is from both - the Pinellas Park PD’s investigation report AND our own internal investigation that found these facts," a spokesperson for AMIKids wrote in an email to 10News.
But, 10News reached out to the Pinellas Park Police Department for more information about that claim. Authorities have a different perspective.
Police say the boy's mom spoke to her son once after the incident happened. And, according to law enforcement, AMI staff members did not relay to the mother the gravity of what happened.
AMIKids says its investigation shows that staff applied medical aid to the boy’s visible injuries immediately after he was restrained. According to police, the medical aid consisted of a bandage applied to the boy's head. Authorities tell 10News trained rescue professionals were not called.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the young man involved during his time of recovery,” President & CEO, AMIkids Inc. Mike Thornton wrote in a letter to parents.
Two AMIkids employees were arrested after the incident -- Dontae Thomas was charged with aggravated child abuse and Jarvis West was charged with neglect of a child and failure to report child neglect.
The AMIKids program is currently under suspension until the conclusion of a Department of Juvenile Justice investigation.
“We will continue to fully cooperate with the Department of Juvenile Justice in their investigation into this incident,” Thornton wrote.
Law enforcement members are standing by the arrests, saying the school failed to report abuse.
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